You're Fired! · 28 August 2007
I have never been fired from a job but when a newspaper publisher recently decided to stop running my column, I felt like I was fired. The publisher had not gotten any feedback from his readers about my column so he decided to cancel it. Feedback must be the measure of supply and demand in the newspaper publishing industry. People need to respond positively to what they like and negatively to what they do not like in order to be heard.
While I understand that a newspaper is a business and this was a business decision, I must admit that I was taken aback when I got the news. I have personally gotten lots of positive feedback from people in the community. Of course, most of the people I heard from are people I know. It is always great to hear their comments but pats on the back in the hallway at church and kind words from a coworker do not get seen or heard by a newspaper publisher. And since I do not write about many controversial issues, I can not imagine getting too much negative feedback from readers in the form of letters to the editor.
I believe that I have a loyal following of my column even if they do not make themselves heard by the newspaper publishers. There may only be three or four of them out there but they are like most of us when it comes to vocally supporting a point of view or political candidate. When things are fine, these people do not say much. They live and let live. It is only when something happens that upsets them that these people say anything. In politics, they vote their conscience and are sometimes referred to as the silent majority. In newspaper publishing, they are called loyal readers. Both groups seem to only be heard when something is amiss.
I am not sure that I have a large enough loyal following to be heard if I make some sort of statement rather than comment on everyday life as it occurs in my realm. I am not sure that I really do have more than the three mythical readers that I like to think I have at any one time. However, I do know that I will continue my column online whether any newspaper publishes it or not. So whether or not I have more than a few readers, I hope that you leave me a comment when I strike a chord.
They say that what you do after a failure or setback is much more important than the setback itself. It may look like I have stumbled and fallen but I have already gotten up and dusted myself off. I will continue to write my weekly column and other writing projects. And even though I can not say that I will never be discontinued by any other publisher or editor (because that is not for me to decide), I can say that I will continue to write about life no matter how many times I am fired.
© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi
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